Choosing the right trek with the right company is crucial to the overall experience that you will have. If you are researching treks to Everest Base Camp, you will find thousands of companies offering you the very same trek at vastly different prices. This can be very confusing and raises many questions for you. There’s no easy answer to this we will break it down for you to assist you in making this important decision.
Below are the questions you need to ask or research online before booking your trip:
Does the cost of the trek include meals?
If the answer is no, be prepared to pay upwards of $500 during your trek to cover these expenses. Food along the way is comparable to the prices that you pay in your country. At Take on Nepal, the cost of your trek includes three meals every day, you choose from the menu without the worry of digging around for money and making sure you have the right change. We know that having meals included makes it easier for you.
Who are the company owners?
Find out who will be organising your trek, are they experienced, passionate and knowledgeable? Make sure that you are not just another number, when booking with the faceless large companies, you can often become lost in a sea of people. At Take on Nepal, we believe in connecting with all clients throughout the entire process. From the first inquiry to a follow up once you have returned from your trek. We care about you and want you to have the best possible experience.
Where is the company based?
Check which country the company you choose to book with are based and make sure that you are aware of whether the advertised price is in US dollars or Australian dollars. We have heard of many stories of Australians booking a trek with the belief that it was a great deal, only to discover later that it was in US dollars. We are an Australian based company advertising prices in Australian dollars! Our office is in Cairns and we love meeting our potential adventurers or past adventurers face to face. We give a lot of presentations to school students and community members. We are passionate about connecting with people to share the wonders of Nepal.
Are all guides and porters trained properly?
This is a very important question for you to ask. You need to ensure that your guide(s) are all good English speakers who hold their professional guide license. Many companies have a high turnover of staff which results in team members who are not as committed or passionate about their work as they could be. We believe in providing ongoing training, support and guidance to our team. Our team members are all young, vibrant and energetic. They are fully trained and absolutely LOVE what they do. I promise you that this positive energy makes the experience of the trekker a brilliant one.
Does the company employ women?
Guides and porters in Nepal are predominately male, you will very rarely see women employed by trekking companies in Nepal. There’s a very good reason for this, young women are not given the opportunity to do so. It’s very hard to break the cycle of early marriage. Young women have clear expectations placed upon them by their family, it takes a lot of strength and courage to do something so different. At Take on Nepal, we know that this can change, we have been working with young women for years to educate, train and now employ them as trekking guides, trainee guides and porters. This has been made possible because of our co-founder Som Tamang, he is from a remote village in Nepal and has strong connections with the villagers who trust him to provide opportunities for young women. The young women of Batase village are trail blazers in Nepal, they are professional, educated and competent guides who are inspiring a whole new generation of young village women.
Is the company ethical?
Do they treat their staff well by paying fair wages, good work conditions and opportunities? Knowing this information will be crucial to your overall experience, we urge you to do your research. We are very proud of the fact that our team are paid above award wages, they are given training opportunities, we provide trekking gear and treat our team like family. Their happiness will impact on your experience. We encourage our team to take up sports, to study in Kathmandu and to follow their dreams.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and we believe in giving back as much as we can. Som is the founder of the not for profit organisation Friends of Himalayan Children Inc. Both Som and Susan dedicate their lives to humanitarian work in Nepal, this is their passion and drive.
Some companies are very cheap and some are very expensive, which one should I pick?
The answer to that is to do your research, go through all of the questions above and base your decision on what feels right for you. At Take on Nepal, we don’t believe in charging the earth for your experience, we want to make it affordable whilst also providing you with a top level experience that is guaranteed to stay with you forever. We know that charging more money does not get you more.
Companies offering treks at a minimal cost should also be approached with caution, as the saying goes, if something sounds too good to be true, it generally is. The budget companies often make their money through commission, they may have hidden costs or they operate in an unethical way that cuts corners which in turn will impact on your experience.
© Take on Nepal 2019